After a disappointing league match against Middlesborough, Arsenal now focus on the light hearted affair that is the EFL Cup. Wenger spoke with reporters to update those available for selection and the team is set to welcome Olivier Giroud, who returns into the fold.
It has been a slow start to the season for the Frenchman, following an extended layoff due to the European Championships, a bizarre red card vs PSG and a toe injury. Arsenal have found a good run of form with Alexis Sanchez at centerforward, but have missed their big target man for games, like Saturday, when the defense is stuck in. Reading should mark his first start of the season, hopefully ready to contribute in a major way to the squad.
In less exciting news, Aaron Ramsey is not quite ready and Santi Cazorla remains out with an Achilles problem. Ramsey is in full training but Wenger does not appear to be ready to get him on the pitch. He should begin featuring on the bench soon. There is no timespan for Cazorla’s absence.
Everyone else is available, save Granit Xhaka who will serve is second game of his suspension. Wenger stated he will continue his habit of trusting the youth with the league cup:
It will be a similar squad to against Nottingham Forest. We will have Gabriel, Holding, Jenkinson will be back and will play. Jeff Reine-Adelaide will play, otherwise I think Iwobi, Lucas, Oxlade-Chamberlain will also play. Gibbs - who captained the team at Forest - will do it again on Tuesday.
So much for betting on the team sheet.